Abandonment and Me

I’m not a fan of the term ‘abandonment issues’. To me it reeks of self entitled, spoilt little girls. Maybe I’m one of them! However, over the years, and with a lot of denial, I worked out that this is exactly what I have and it’s shaped how I live my life.

I guess I need to go right back to the start. One of my earliest childhood memories was walking into the kitchen to find my Dad backed up against the kitchen sink while trying to dodge the plates my Mum was lobbing at him. On that particular occasion he’d been caught shagging the mother of one of my cousin’s schoolmates. My cousin was at the home of said woman having a playdate with her daughter when my Dad knocked on the door for a playdate of his own, and he certainly wasn’t expecting to see my cousin there!

My Dad was, and is not, a bad man, but he has done a lot of bad things. Aside from never being able to keep his dick in his pants, he was also on the wrong side of the law a lot of the time. I have vague recollections of my older sister finding a gun and a wig in his glovebox and there was always a fire extinguisher placed at the top of the stairs (which led straight down to the front door) in case of repercussions for any of his actions. At one point we left our council house in Surrey to flee to Yorkshire to avoid the police for a robbery my father had taken part in.

My Mum could handle the criminal activity. My Dad was the love of her life, and for her it was part and parcel of living. But she couldn’t handle the other women. By the time I was 5 my Dad had left us. I didn’t reconnect with him again until I was 15.

For a long time it was myself, my siblings and our Mum trying to bring us all up in our little council house doing what she could to make ends meet, I remember it being a really difficult time for her and to this day I don’t know how she did it. Eventually my brother and sisters moved out and it was just me and Mum.

That all changed when I was 14 and she met my now Step-dad. It was really strange for me having another father figure around and I didn’t take kindly to it. My Mum moved in with him but she didn’t take me with her. She left me to look after myself. By this point I was around 15/16 and was at an age where I definitely needed some guidance so it was weird not having her around. My sisters and my brother were quick to jump in and take over the parenting, which they shouldn’t have been burdened with. When I got my first boyfriend, it was my sister who made the appointment to put me on the pill and it was them who were making sure I was getting my homework done and studying for my GCSE’s and generally just being there.

I’ve grown up with the knowledge that at one point both my Dad and my Mum left and it’s had a deep impact on me and how I deal with relationships, what I look for and how I control any fears that jump into my head.

I’ve essentially looked after myself and been very independent for a long time and right now I’m single. I have to be honest and admit that relationships terrify me, friends jokingly call me the Ice Queen but I’m not a cold person. I sometimes take things more personally than I should and so I get my feelings hurt easily, therefore I naturally step back. It’s a self preservation thing.

One of the thing’s I’ve realised in myself is that I hate routine in relationships. As soon as something turns too comfortable or too easy, I’m bored out of my mind. I wish I wasn’t like that, but I am. I hate feeling like I’m being harassed and I like my own space. If you could describe my ideal man it would be someone that’s ambitious and therefore busy, basically someone that isn’t around all the time and keeps me on my toes! My friends and I laugh about it, but its true. I haven’t quite worked out if this is a good thing or bad thing yet!

The thing with abandonment issues is that they sometimes create very self isolating, unhealthy patterns and so I work hard at not letting these patterns control me. It’s easy to guilt people into staying with you or manipulate a partner into taking on your issues as their responsibility and be that over needy person that eventually pushes people away anyway. I simply refuse to be that person and let those issues take over.

I take full responsibility for my insecurities and I am very aware that what happened to me was not my fault. I’ve managed to convert my abandonment fears into self reliance and I’m completely responsible for my own wellbeing. I’m a stronger, more empowered person because of that.

The way I now see it, is the way I was brought up has made me the person I am now, and I’m alright.